The Ottawa Senators are an ice hockey team located in Ottawa, Ontario. The club competes in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the NHL. It’s worth mentioning that the Ottawa Senators are a franchise with the most unusual and curious history. The club has two dates of foundation: 1883 and 1992. The original Ottawa Senators existed from 1883 to 1934. Hockey appeared in Ottawa as early as 1883 when the Ottawa HC amateur club was founded in Ontario. From 1883 to 1909, the team changed its name several times. For instance, in 1890, the team was renamed the Ottawa Generals. From 1903 to 1907, it bore the name Silver Seven. The team got the given for quite prosaic reasons: Silver – the team’s owner paid players silver nuggets for each Stanley Cup, they had won (in the era of amateur hockey, players were forbidden to receive money for the game), Seven – in honor of the number of players in the team and the rink.
In 1909, the team became completely professional and changed its name to Senators. The first reference to the nickname of Senators happened to appear in a game report in 1901. It referred to the fact that the team was based in Canada’s capital, where the Senate of Canada resided.
From 1917 to 1934, the team won 11 Stanley Cups.
The Ottawa Senators wore red, white, and black horizontally-striped sweaters. The given color scheme remained until 1934 when the team was forced to leave the NHL for a long time due to financial difficulties. Despite that, four-time Stanley Cup winners rarely had a logo: only in the after-champion seasons did they sew a red-and-black shield on the sweater to indicate their champion status. Before the dissolution, in the 1929-1930 season, the team introduced the “O” logo to the sweaters’ chest.
In 1934, the Senators were going through hard times because of serious financial problems, so the team had to move to St. Louis, Missouri, USA. The club changed its name to St. Louis Eagles. Did this name have any connection to American patriotism? Unfortunately, nobody knows. After the 1934-1935 season, the team fell into oblivion, NHL dispersed St. Louis Eagles players among the other teams of the league.
In 1990, the Ottawa-native businessman Bruce Firestone put a bid to the NHL to establish a new franchise with the old name and the old black-and-red-and-white color scheme. It took two years for Bruce Firestone to convince the NHL authorities to accept a new franchise from Canada’s capital to the league. In October 1992, the Senators played their first game against the Montreal Canadiens as a member of the NHL. The Ottawa Senators logo features the Roman legionnaire profile. The second shoulder patch contains the Latin letter “S” and Roman numerals “MDCCCXCIV.”
Spartacus, an anthropomorphic red-haired lion, is the official mascot of the Ottawa Senators.
Meaning and History
The Ottawa Senators franchise has kept the same key visual concept of the logo throughout its recent history. It managed to become one of the few teams who just modernized, slightly altered, or corrected the main team logo. The initial Senators’ logo featured the head of the Roman general. It was designed by Tony Milchard, who described the warrior as a “centurion figure, strong and prominent.” Besides, the logo contained the name of the team placed on the military shield. Later on, it was removed. In 2008, the Senators updated the previous logo and use it till now. According to club owner Eugene Melnyk, the brand new Ottawa Senators’ logo symbolizes “strength and determination.”
1992 – 1997
The first Ottawa Senators logo was unveiled in Ottawa in 1992. Its design was rather simple, yet symbolic. It featured the Roman emperor or the Centurion. The logo color scheme included red, black, and gold. The emperor was depicted in profile, wearing a gold helmet with laurels. The image was rounded with two semicircles. The red-and-black one resembled the warrior’s helmet, while the gold semicircle contained the black-scripted “Ottawa Senators” wordmark.
1997 – 2007
Over the next nine years, the Ottawa Senators hockey club had a more or less identical logo to the previous one. The name of the team on a gold semicircle was replaced with black laurel. The rest of the design has not been changed.
2007 – until now
The Ottawa Senators’ third and last logo was introduced in 2008. The Ottawa Senators emblem went through a major overhaul and acquired a more modern look without losing its distinctive style. It still represents the Roman emperor, a member of the Senate of the Roman Empire, yet he is depicted not in profile, but full face. His face is stoic and strict, with prominent cheekbones and strong features. He is wearing a gold helmet and a red cloak. The new logo looks incredibly realistic and eye-catching because now the emperor is looking not to the side, but at the spectator. Next, to him, there is a gold laurel-adorned shield.